Archive | January, 2017

Populations and Cities D.17.01.31

31 Jan

Mesopotamia built cities with walls. This was a sign that there was some threat afoot. There was a growing population in those ancient cities but this also meant an increased problem in an inconsistent environment.

The God King of Mesopotamia, it was understood had to be a warrior to dominate. It is felt the people had recourse. In ancient times the idea to vote for leadership was not part of the social system – instead they would ask the gods for help.

It was built into kingship that the king took advantage of his status or the societal order, and the relationship between king and gods were accepted.

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Leadership D.17.01.30

30 Jan

Leadership was a mastery of the concept of religion with these ideals thickly held by the kingship. The kingship created the theme of rivalry where other colonies would not want to contend but want to win over outside lands.

The ancient lands were a warring of sky gods as they were seen. The gods rivalled the kingship.

The gods represented the elements of nature like thunder and lightening, dust storms, the things that seem to threaten people, but also potentially threaten a king.

A king is supposed to lead. So when there was regular warfare in an area, those skills, the warfaring skills, became increasingly important. And that was certainly the case in Mesopotamia.

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Mesopotamian Civilizations D.17.01.29

29 Jan

The civilization that rose in Egypt shortly after Sumer was Mesopotamia. There was probably some contact between them, but Egypt developed essentially as a distinct civilization of its own.

In the case of the value of land and resources these had already began to increase and so did the societal order changes as that value of the land and other resources increased.

The location of the civilization is considered and it would appear a lot of people passing through may have posed a threat or otherwise left alone given the geography and other characteristics.

It is an interesting thought to think kingship could mean something different, if the river that sustains it can also seem to lead to attacks without notice.

Kingship could mean something different when they ventured in the direction of their civilization and seized the resources.

Mesopotamia has a long geographical history of very volatile rivers, weather, and people that moved across the landscape.

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Societal Order D.17.01.28

28 Jan

Within the kingship and law in ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt it is a consideration on how much the environment, the climate, the geography and frequently the things that human being can’t change, affect societal order.

Societal order can be thought of as the law. Even when there aren’t formal laws in place it’s about the relationship between the ruler and the ruled, as well the relationship between the ruled in terms of each other.

How and why do societies and their leaders understand order differently? What kinds of sources, myths, law codes, buildings, religious beliefs, might shed light on how and why they understand order and how and why they might enforce it as they did?

It all began some how and it is the how which brings the realization of a great deal of organization.

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Buried Treasures of Antiquity D.17.01.27

27 Jan

The Great Sphinx was buried for many years under the shifting sands of the Egyptian desert.

In fact many, many Egyptian pyramids are still lying out there covered up by the sand. Not all the Pyramids were as big as the ones at Giza there were many smaller versions.

Beneath many homes in the area have been discovered underground chambers from antiquity.

The area spreads out as new homes and businesses have built over many ancient artefacts. It would be a mammoth undertaking to level the city and dig so instead it is left to be uncovered when new construction or renovations allows for new discoveries.

Like many ancient places there is a buried history yet to be uncovered.

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Sphinx at Giza D.17.01.26

26 Jan

What is as famous as the Pyramids is the Great Sphinx at Giza. The Sphinx was built around 2500 BCE. About 100 years after the Great Pyramid of Khufu and it was built in the reign of Pharaoh Khafre, who was the son of Khufu…

The Sphinx is a mythical creature, half lion, half human, or lion with a human head and its thought that the head of the Sphinx is a portrait of Pharaoh Khafre, which can give you an idea of the nature of Egyptian kingship, the way that the king is imagined as being part lion.

The kingly beast and the scale of the Great Sphinx are enormous. It is still to this day one of the largest statues of the human form, or some part of it, anywhere in the world.

The Sphinx, as most people notice of course, has the nose missing. The other thing that’s missing is there was probably a Pharaohonic beard descending from its chin. Nobody knows what happened to the nose. Some people think that Early Muslims cut it off because they thought there was religious objections to the depiction of the human face and that people were still worshipping the Sphinx at that time.

The other rumour is that Napoleon’s troops blew it off with a cannon in the 19th century when the French briefly invaded Egypt but it is not clear if either of those is true. The nose, though, is gone and is long gone.

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The Robberies of the Pyramids D.17.01.25

25 Jan

The Pyramids had religious and ceremonial use, but no practical use. These structures give you a sense of how sophisticated, organized and hierarchical Egyptian society was.

The modern entrance to the Great Pyramid is through the robber’s tunnel. These Pyramids were tombs, and the Pharaohs were buried inside.

These structures have long since been pillaged, and there’s nothing of value left inside them anymore.

The robber’s tunnel which is the modern entrance to the Giza Pyramid, the Great Pyramid of Khufu was built in 820 CE by the Egyptians who lived at that time under the palace who were trying to get into the Pyramid to see what was in there. By the time they got in there everything was gone, so they dug a new tunnel into the Pyramid and that’s the way the people get into it today.

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How was the Pyramids Built? D.17.01.24

23 Jan

That is the question – how were the pyramids built? This is a question that nobody’s been adequately able to solve.

It is obvious they were built with a lot of brute forced labour. It is thought that the stones were moved on rollers. No one knows exactly the time frame for building the Pyramids, but mostly each Pyramid was built in a period of about 20 years, which has been estimated to means 12 blocks would have had to been put in place every hour day and night for 20 years to make that happen.

That is an enormous pace of construction and it was thought for a long time that this was all done with slave labour. It was uncovered from excavation of worker’s camps around Giza and other places in Egypt suggest this was probably not the case.

It seems the Pyramids were built with voluntary labour and perhaps even paid labour.

The details are unclear but what it suggests is the enormous capacity of the regimes of the Pharaohs to mobilize the Egyptian population to work at particular tasks.

Imagine to get that many people to voluntarily or even no matter what they were being paid, just to get that number of people to work day and night with punishing amounts of effort to build these enormous monumental structures is huge.

Which as is obvious these structures have no real practical use to the community!

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Overwhelming Ancient Achievement D.17.01.23

22 Jan

The largest Pyramid in Giza was built as a tomb for the fourth dynasty Pharaoh Khufu, or Cheops as he was sometimes called by the Greeks in 2560 BCE. These structures of Giza were the tallest man made structures on Earth for a period of almost 4000 years.

It is considered the next thing that human beings built anywhere on the planet that was as tall as the Pyramids at Giza was the Spire of Lincoln Cathedral in England which was razed in the 13th century about 4,000 years after these pyramids were built.

That Spire lasted 200 years before it fell down because of its enormous height. The Lincoln Cathedral is gone.

The tall Spire is gone and yet the Pyramids are still there. It is one of the things that makes them so impressive is their endurance as human structures.

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Egyptian Civilization D.17.01.22

22 Jan

The lives of the various Pharaohs created a sense of continuity of Egyptian civilization and community.

They built enormous complexes over a period of time and over the period of many reigns of many Pharaohs.

There was a sense of how beautifully the Pyramids fit together as geometric objects. The design of the Pyramid was thought the shape was to represent the rays of the sun shining on the Earth. This may seem a little strange, but that’s in part because the Pyramids are no longer in the condition they were when they were built.

The Pyramids were built a long time ago and they’ve suffered an enormous amount of damage since.

What has mostly happened to them is their outer coating has been removed. In ancient times, this would have been made entirely of polished stone.

The Pyramids would’ve been impressive; not just for their enormous size, but also for the way they gleamed in the sun and their shape. This suggest the rays of the sun shining down onto the land of Egypt and a divine nature of the Pharaoh as a conduit between the people of Egypt and the Sun god, which was one of the greatest Egyptian deities.

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